13 Jun 2011

Sir Clive would have to quit current job to take up new role

6:03 am on 13 June 2011

Sir Clive Woodward has been told he must quit his role with the British Olympic Association if he wants to be appointed the new performance director of the English Rugby Football Union.

The RFU are in limbo after former chief executive John Steele quit Saturday following a unanimous vote at an emergency board meeting.

Steele's position had been under threat since he changed the job description for the new performance director position last month, stripping the role of any responsibility for England's senior Test team.

That was seen as a deliberate snub to Woodward, making the post seemingly unworthy of the 2003 World Cup-winning coach and other high-profile candidates.

Yet, 48 hours later, that was followed by another U-turn where the initial terms of the job were re-instated, possibly clearing the way for Woodward to return to the organisation he resigned from amid acrimony in 2004.

Woodward is currently the performance director of the BOA and deputy Chef de Mission for the British team at next year's London Olympics.

After the RFU's double U-turn he insisted he remained totally committed to his Olympic roles but Steele's exit has reignited speculation that Woodward, a former England centre, could be returning to Twickenham.

However, with the English governing body aiming to fill the post after this year's World Cup in New Zealand, RFU management board chairman Martyn Thomas has insisted there is no way Woodward could hold both positions before joining full-time after the Olympics.